The introduction of SIS.A Shimano Indexing System.A It had been done before, by Suntour a few years prior, but Shimano really made it their own.A I remember the complaints I heard from back then. My favorite?A "The clicks will tell your competitor what you are doing."A Didn’t bother me.A I never raced.A This is the gruppo that I feel really brought the Dura-Ace line together.A It was cohesive and attractive, without the "sqeezed in the vice" look of AX, the nuttiness of EX, or the copycat qualities of the earliest Dura-Ace/Titlist.A I’ll admit it;A I’m an unabashed fan of DA and still ride a bike with the first eight speed group.A And with prices the way they are, I’ll probably be riding it for quite a while into the future.
Excuse my french but I just put up a 1988 LOOK catalog.AA Remember the Mondrian years?AA Ah, mais oui.AA It’s a big glossy book, great printing.AA Those must have been some good years for LOOK.AA It has the usual lineup of pedals and shoes, and two carbon frames (a road and a mountain).AA Was this the first year they offered carbon fibre?AA I doubt it, but it’s the oldest reference material that I have from them.AA Also inside the front cover is a big splash about a carbon crankset.AA I don’t think it ever was produced, but again, I did not have a lot of customers that used their equipment.AA( The cycling industry has a history of vaporware just like the software industry.AA My favorite is the Shimano Dura-Ace TENAAroad group which I will discuss at some future time.)
I, like many other ugly americans, have a bad habit of railing against French design and engineering.AA Citroen, Eclair; great stuff that breaks.AA A lot.AA Yet I have to give a big french kiss to LOOK.AA I have about six pairs of their pedals from many different years and all of them work.AA Never had one fail on me.AA I’ve used cleats that you could see through and could still click in and out with ease.AA Come to think of it, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a broken one.AA And they have not changed the design!AA I can still get cleats.AAAA C’est miracle!
You know; it’s either feast or famine around here.A And right now it’s a feast.A I put up two early 80′s brochures from the British frame component manufacturer, Haden.A I never built with any of their lugs or crowns so don’t have a real clue as to what the level of quality was.A I doubt that they are still in business.A But please let me know if I’m wrong.A Happy Ho, Ho.
As I’m sure many of you have noticed, the Bicycle Info Site contains a wealth of knowledge about steel tubing.AA One of the reasons for this is that I once thought of becoming a framebuilder.AA I built about a dozen frames and some stems from around 1985 til about 1995.AA The name I used was Equus Cycle Frames.AA Equus is Latin for horse and I felt that horses, like bikes, came in several different versions.AA Thus the Thoroughbred was the race frame, the Appaloosa was the all round frame, The Percheron was the touring frame, and the Mule was the off road frame.AA I made racing, touring, and off road, both lugged and lugless in Columbus, Reynolds, True Temper; and even a frame made from Carpenter’s Aermet (the grandpa of all the new air hardened steels).AA I never had the tenacity or capital to make it a full time gig.AA In the beginning, I offered people a frame for $300.AA (This is after I had built a couple for myself.)AA I had one taker.AA Over the years I built a couple of more for myself and got a few commissions (also for dirt cheap), but never had people screaming for a custom frame.AAAA I never quite figured it out.AA I thought that a lot of folks would be willing to try someone new out for such a low price.AA I would.AA But it never happened.AA I know that one reason is location.AAAA Philly has a lot of cyclists, and all of them ride cheap bikes.AA Not necessarily garbage, but old is good, used is good,AA and a closeout is something very special to cherish forever.AA After seeing cyclists and talking to shop rats in other parts of the country, I realize that this area is always going to be low to middle end.AA Heck, even the homeless people in Boulder ride a Trek.AA
Still, I’m glad I did it.AA Now that I’m older and have more room and time, I think about trying again, but my wife is not keen on the idea.AA She works for an insurance company.AA I still ride the second frame I ever made (a touring frame named Leah that clocks in at over seven pounds without the fork and has 19 inch chainstays) and my first "go fast" frame.AA While I have not built any frames recently, I kept all my tooling.AA Hopefully my daughter wants one.AA I’ll give her a great deal.
. . . is finally up on the site at http://www.equusbicycle.com/bike/truetemper/index.html.AA It dates from around ’87 judging by the order form I found inside.AA For the bean counters out there, the most expensive tube set was the ATX and it cost a whopping $66.25 back then.AA I have not priced any of the newer steels recently, but I feel pretty confident that they will cost a bit more.
I get a lot of email about my site, most of it looking for some more specific information.AA Every once in while, though,AAa request comes along that I have no idea how to answer.AA I received one the other day from a Mr. Pratt in New Zealand asking about the Fiorelli brand name.AA He was wondering if the nameAAmight be available for him to use on his own brand of bikes.AA I’m clueless and curious.AA If the bike has not been in production for a certain amount of time, can one claim the name and use it?AA Does the name have to be copyrighted (or the equivalent in other countries) and if it is not, can someone else use it?AA In any event, he wrote me a nice email and seems a decent enough fellow that I told him I’d post it up here and see if any of my readers might have a clue.AA Particularly those in Italy who might be able to direct Mr. Pratt to the correct agency to find out.AA If you find something and don’t want to make it public, just send me an email and I will forward it to him.AA Grazia.
Happy Thanksgiving.AA Just another day for me as we do the turkey thing on Saturday to accommodate the out of towners.AA I used to go on a fun ride thatAAa friend of mine, Dan used to host.AA Off road in Pennypack park.AA Always a lot of fun, but I have not done it in years.AA Come to think of it, I’ve not been on my mountain bike for probably two years.AA God, I’m old.
I finally fixed my behemoth of a scanner, a Umax 2100XL.AA It’s old. It’s slow.AA But is has a huge bed and the color is better than anything else I’ve used.AA To test the rebuilt scanner I just posted an old brochure that I had of New England framebuilder, Peter Ouellette from the mid to late seventies.AAAA Pretty bikes with ornate lugwork.AA I especially like his springloaded fender mount shown on page two that allows easy rear wheel removal while keeping a tight fender line.AAAA While I’m sure that is has been previously done by others, it’s the first time I had ever seen it.
An acquaintance of mine, Fred, has a later model that some may find interesting.AA Apparently it was made to circle the globe several times.AA Find it here.
. . . but I had to do it.AA I turned on ‘hot link’ protection on my site.AA This means that if you want to display any of the literature from the Bicycle Info Project site without linking, the image won’t display.AA I’ve been thinking of doing this for a while but the bandwidth was within reason and almost always, the poster told of where he got the images from.AA But yesterday I found a London fixed gear site displaying almost all my Reynolds ephemera without nary a ‘thanks, mate’ or link back to my site.AA Over a thousand views were recorded and that is a lot of bandwidth (which is what I pay for).AA I have found most folksAAare kind about links and usage of material.AA I’m not too uptight about it; after all, I didn’t produce it, I just post it, but aAAlot of what I have is one of a kind and I’d like folks to know from whence it came.
AA. . . has been added to the Bicycle Info Project.AA Pretty slim, with only 4 bikes in it.AA I don’t think that Motobecane lasted much longer in the US after that.AA I know that the Motobecane name is around again, anyone know the the most recent story of their resurrection?
I’ve added catalogs by Scapin, Riggio, and Torpado recently.